It’s the 20th new concept store in the chain and the first for Ontario.
Ardene’s new store concept was first introduced in early 2017. As of 2019, Ardene has 20 brand new stores like these, as well as a handful of updated large-footprint stores. The Upper Canada Mall store is 14,982 square feet, while the retailer’s biggest store, in Sherbrooke, Quebec, is 35,830 square feet. “These stores are exciting because they are very large format. This allows customers to create full head-to-toe outfits in one shopping trip, and allows stores to carry our fullest assortment of basics and trends in apparel, footwear, accessories, and more.” said Mr. Dervishian, the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
The retailer has more stores planned for 2019 and well into 2020. Today, it has new concept stores across Canada, the USA, and the Middle East as it continues to open new stores on a monthly basis.
The majority of stores are being constructed in malls, mostly in suburban areas. According to Ardene, there has been early success driving traffic to these locations.
Ardene has about 350 stores worldwide with plans for more international expansions, which will be announced in early 2020.
Elisabeth Couture, the company’s Brand Manager, said many of the new concept stores are close to 20,000 square feet and offer an elevated shopping experience for customers.
Each store comes equipped with digital-inspired elements such as LED screens and social media inspired visuals to encourage customers to take photos, as well as easy-to-shop product zones and overall greater square footage.
She said the large footprint stores are an ideal location for events and customer engagement, and that it is the perfect formula “to create buzz and excitement for Ardene shoppers”.
“Our new store concept is really based on our updated brand that we refreshed a few years ago and it’s really about keeping the customer in mind,” said Couture. “That means finding out what our customer expects from us and making sure that we’re offering the store experience that is living up to her expectations and allowing her to engage with our brand.”
The retailer has also introduced celebrity and influencer collaborations which include KENDALL & KYLIE, laurDIY, Lottie Moss, and others – all collaborating to design their own limited-edition capsule collections.
There’s also Canadian YouTube sensation, Adelaine Morin, who engages a community of over 3.8 million people. Morin hosted an event at the newly-opened Ardene in Upper Canada Mall on August 10.
“Following the success of our KENDALL & KYLIE launch, we have expanded our partnerships to include an even bigger selection of celebrities and local and global influencers,” said Dervishian.
This past spring, Ardene partnered with Kate Moss’ little sister, Lottie Moss, for a limited-time capsule collection. The retailer’s most recent campaign, dubbed We Are the Future is also all about self-love and acceptance. For that, it partnered with Canadian micro-influencers, each who tells her own inspirational story. Ardene’s next partnership, with Adelaine Morin, fits right in with the brand’s position on supporting local female entrepreneurs. “Adelaine’s Girls Supporting Girls mantra is something we truly stand behind.” said Couture.
She said concepts in retail are always shifting and that’s what makes the Ardene brand so dynamic and one that’s been successful for all these years because “we’re able to adapt to the market and adapt to change.”
“We’ve been around the Canadian market for a really long time. We’re a household name for a lot of customers young and old. I think we’ve really managed to capture the essence of what that younger customer - the 14 to 24 year old – wants, which is offering her a lot of choice, amazing value and allowing her to access her favourite trends for a price that’s affordable to her,” she said. “The next in-store innovations will be centred around experience; no matter how we innovate, we always keep our customers at the heart of it.”
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.